Criminal Appeal Nos. 2512-2513 of 2014 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) Nos. 2521-2522 of 2014). Case: Union of India (UOI) Vs T. Nathamuni. Supreme Court

Case Number:Criminal Appeal Nos. 2512-2513 of 2014 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) Nos. 2521-2522 of 2014)
Party Name:Union of India (UOI) Vs T. Nathamuni
Counsel:For Appellant: K. Radhakrishnan, Sr. Adv., T.A. Khan, Farrukh Rasheed and B.V. Balaram Das, Advs. and For Respondents: J.C. Gupta, Dharm Singh and Ram Shankar, Advs., for R.V. Kameshwaran, Adv.
Judges:M. Yusuf Eqbal and Shiva Kirti Singh, JJ.
Issue:Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 - Sections 3, 5A, 17, 19; Delhi Special Police Establishment Act - Section 5(3); Prevention of Corruption Act, 1952 - Section 5A; Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) - Sections 8(1), 13(1), 482; Constitution of India - Article 21
Citation:2015 (1) ACR 6, 2015 (90) ALLCC 895, 2015 ALLMR (Cri) 338 (SC), 2015 (2) ALT (Crl.) 165 (SC), I (2015) CCR 69 (SC), 2015 (1) JLJR 181, 2015 (1) LW 625 (Crl), 2015 (1) PLJR 319, 2015 (1) RCR 207 (Criminal), 2015 (2) SCJ 281, [2015] 229 TAXMAN 129 (SC), 2015 (1) UC 138, AIR 2015 SCW 165
Judgement Date:December 01, 2014
Court:Supreme Court
 
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Judgment:

M. Yusuf Eqbal, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. The present appeals are directed against the common judgment and order dated 5.7.2013 passed by the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court in Crl. O.P. No. 1943 & 6464 of 2010, whereby the High Court set aside the order passed by the Trial court permitting a Sub-Inspector of Police to investigate the matter under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

3. The facts giving rise to the present appeals are that on the basis of a complaint from one S. Muniraj a case being RC 50(A)/2009 was registered by Central Bureau of Investigation, ACB, Chennai against Respondent-T. Nathamuni, Inspector of Income Tax on the allegation that the accused had demanded an amount of Rs. 5,000/- from the complainant. A trap was laid and allegedly the accused was caught red handed while accepting the bribe amount. Initially, the case was investigated by Mr. Lawrence, Inspector of Police and owing to some administrative reasons, the Superintendent of Police, Central Bureau of Investigation, Anti Corruption Branch, Chennai filed petition dated 22.9.2007 Under Section 17 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (in short, 'the Act') before the Court of Special Judge CBI cases, Madurai seeking permission for investigation of the case by Shri G.A. Suriya Kumar, Sub-Inspector of Police, instead of Mr. Lawrence, Inspector of Police.

4. The Special Judge for CBI cases, Madurai vide order dated 24.09.2009 allowed the aforesaid petition permitting G.A. Suriya Kumar, Sub-Inspector of Police to investigate the case. After completion of investigation, charge sheet dated 01.12.2009 was filed in the Court of Special Sessions Judge for CBI cases, Madurai and the Court took cognizance and assigned it CC No. 7/2009.

5. During the course of trial, the Respondent moved the High Court preferring criminal original petition Under Section 482 of Code of Criminal Procedure (in short, 'Code of Criminal Procedure.') to quash the entire proceedings in CC No. 7/2009 on the ground that there is correction in the FIR and sanction was not accorded by proper authority. Respondent also preferred another petition to call for the records and to quash the order dated 24.09.2009 passed by the Special Judge, Madurai in Crl. M.P. No. 549 of 2009 permitting Shri GA Suriya Kumar, Sub-Inspector of Police to investigate the case.

6. The High Court vide its impugned order dated 5.7.2013 set aside aforesaid order of the Trial Court on the ground that Section 17 of the Act provides that if the officer not below the rank of Inspector of Police is authorized by the Government, such officer can investigate the case without permission of the Court. There is no specific provision in Section 17 of the Act that the Sub-Inspector of Police is also empowered to investigate the case with the permission of the Court. The High Court further observed that the Special Court without assigning any reason in the order permitted the Sub-Inspector of Police to investigate the matter and the same is not in accordance with law.

7. Hence, these appeals by special leave by the Union of India as well as the State.

8. We have heard learned Counsel for the parties. Mr. K. Radhakrishnan, learned senior Counsel appearing for the Appellant submitted that the High Court has failed to appreciate that Special Judge granted permission to aforesaid Sub-Inspector of Police, CBI, Chennai to investigate the case and after completion of the investigation, charge sheet was filed and cognizance was taken. Learned Counsel contended that the High Court interpreted Section...

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